Phyllis Schwartz exits WFLD

Welcome back, Fox  32.
Welcome back, Fox 32.

It looks like its back to the beach for Phyllis Schwartz.

The WFLD vice president and news director exited the station Tuesday after nearly a year. She replaced Carol Fowler in the same capacity on January 6. A former WLS-TV and WMAQ-TV executive, Schwartz returned to Chicago from San Diego where she ran her own consulting company and was previously vice president and general manager of KNSD-TV (which like WMAQ, is also owned by NBC.)

In a statement released to TV Spy/Media Bistro, Schwartz had this to say about her departure:

“There is no better place to be a news director than Chicago – I love this city and I love producing the news here. This was an extremely difficult decision to make but I have decided to leave FOX 32 to be with my family in California. My reasons for asking to leave are strictly personal. I have a supportive husband, two wonderful daughters, and a great Mom in Southern California and need to be with them at this time.”

This comes as WFLD is prepping for the Dennis Walsh era – the new general manager from Fox’s Orlando duopoly on January 7 replacing Mike Renda, who is bound for WJBK in Detroit.

The promised revamped at WFLD under Schwartz never really happened as she hired only a handful of personnel and the newscasts’ presentation pretty much stayed the same as it did under Fowler. Despite a slight uptick in ratings in October 2012 (vs. year-ago numbers), WFLD’s newscasts overall remained well behind the competition, notably those of WMAQ, WLS, and WGN-TV’s. During Schwartz’s short tenure, there was very little effort to improve the news operation from her – or her New York bosses.

Assistant news director Chris Myers assumes the title of news director until a replacement is found. Myers is no relation to the Fox Sports broadcaster of the same name. Fox Sports, WJBK, and WFLD are owned by the Fox Group.